LAKELAND - Keystone Heights High boys weightlifting coach Lantz Lowery knew his regional glimpse at defending 2A champion Suwannee High, now in Class 1A, was going to be the same look a week later in …
LAKELAND - Keystone Heights High boys weightlifting coach Lantz Lowery knew his regional glimpse at defending 2A champion Suwannee High, now in Class 1A, was going to be the same look a week later in Lakeland.
“Going against Suwannee the week before was a big help,” said Lowery, noting Keystone Heights beat Suwannee in Tradition at regions by a 56-53 score with Suwannee dominating the field in the Olympic scoring. “All the way around, the state meet was not our best day.”
Lowery noted that the competition in general, in the big arena with the best in the state hovering around the platforms, made for some uncomfortable lifts throughout the field.
“Everyone there is still a high school kid,” said Lowery. “Being on that stage is a very daunting experience whether you are there for the first time of there for the third time.”
In the final tally, Keystone Heights got Lowery a third straight state, albeit in just one discipline, Traditional and a tie for second in the Olympic scoring behind Suwannee with the Indians tying with South Sumter with 29 points with Suwannee the champions at 49 points. In Tradition, Keystone Heights dominated with a 41-35 edge on Suwannee and Bozeman third at 15.
“The Suwannee coach is the best at teaching that Olympic Snatch and that’s how they dominate,” said Lowery, noting Suwannee finishing with four Olympic scoring champions. “Our guys did what was expected pretty much with our Bo Overton winning at 169. He’s a workhorse that just shows up and does his job.”
Overton had the best Olympic Snatch at 215 and the best clean and jerk at 285 to win by 40 pounds with his 500 total. Overton then punched up the best bench press of the field; a 300, to win the Traditional scoring title by 20 pounds.
“Bo is always the same,” said Lowery. “I knew after his first lift that he would win the state title. Say what you want, Bo trusts God all day and that keeps him calm and steady.”
Lowery, with three trips in his pocket to the state meet with a truckload of trophies including a Dairy Farmer Weightlifting coach of the year alongside Fleming Island’s Damenyum Springs, who also won a second round of titles after winning in Class 3A in 2020 to give Clay County a second year of two state championship teams in one sport.
“Three in a row is pretty cool,” said Lowery. “This group was pretty special and kind of handled the pressure of being a two time champion pretty well. I don’t think it will sink in for a while the level at which they competed and trained the last four years.”
Lowery also got an individual title from Larry Jeffries III who won the Tradition title at 219 to outduel Suwannee’s Brandon Robinson from last week’s region. Robinson again beat Jeffries in the Olympic scoring with the pair finishing second and third behind South Sumter’s Jackson Sovercool who totaled 555 to Robinson’s 540 and Jeffries 515. Jeffries missed on both is Snatch and Clean and Jerk second and third lifts to keep his total low.
“Our philosophy is if we hit all of our lifts, we win,” said Lowery.
At 238, where Anthony Rozier-Tyler was the hero of the region meet last week, Coral Shores’ Julian Juvier dominated with a 690 toal with Rozier-Tyler equaling his 370 bench press at regions and finishing third.
Lowery got double points in two weight classes with Landon Hovsepian and Bryant Schenk finishing second and third behind Suwannee’s Sam Wainwright in 183 and Wyatt Van Zant and Reid Begue taking third and fourth in 129 in Olympics for critical Keystone Heights points.
“Both of those pairs of boys work hard together and know where we want them to finish and they just execute the plan,” said Lowery. “Reid missed on two lifts, but Wyatt was perfect on all of his lifts. Bryar missed his first in Snatch then was perfect from there. Landon missed just his last attempt of the day on the bench press. I can’t ask for more.”
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